Confront.

I talk to heaps of angry people, people who are blindly angry because of the things they do not know and don’t want to understand. There are so many people who would rather stay in perpetual annoyance and misunderstanding than invest a little time to learn something new. I spend plenty of time helping people recognize change and do my best to help them learn the changes and adapt.

This is often met with pushback from the people I am attempting to educate. I often find myself confronting these people with the fact that life and technology are changing and will continue to change. People dislike this a lot, they dislike change because it is unknown and nobody is comfortable going into the unknown. It scares us more than we would like to admit and we allow ourselves to change little by little so we can adapt easier to the change.

I hate confronting people and I have a strong dislike for change. Yet, I know that change is a constant and I try my best to roll forward with the change. Often when I confront people for being stubborn about the change I meet a wall, a wall that has stood in the same place for a number of years and has no plan of moving in the coming years. This wall is called the comfort zone, we love our comfort zones. However, with most walls, there is a gate that allows things in and out. This can be said about our comfort zones, we gradually open up and allow new things in to change who we are and let the old ways fall out.

Accepting the changes that are happening around us is a true challenge. Acknowledging these changes takes time to digest and become accustomed to, allowing ourselves to be willing to educate ourselves on the change will help us to welcome change better. I’d recommend we all think about how we accept change and how we adapt then confront our weaknesses and strive to open our comfort zone to new things.

Discouragement.

Higher education discourages me a lot. I have hated college my entire college career because I have always believed it to be a business rather than a service designed to better the lives of individuals and our communities. I owe no debt to any school for the education I have pursued but I know plenty of others that have. I have also transferred between different universities and had credits lost because once school doesn’t accept the validity of the education I received at the school before. This for me has been a huge source of discouragement as a nontraditional student.

I genuinely have had an array of professors as a college student, some that are invested in their student’s education and others who could care less if anyone in their class learns anything at all. It is a challenge to learn when others lack the desire to teach. A few semesters back I had a marketing professor tell me how ads in newspapers were still all the rage and that social media marketing was a fad that would die out. I tend to disagree with that professor’s views. I wish there were more professionals in residence who taught the fast-moving subjects of the world. My three favorite instructors have been working professionals by day and professors by night.

I write this out of pure frustration for the higher education system because my classes have “expired” and now my school is asking me to retake more classes that I have already taken in the past. It angers me to no end this is the school I have decided to attend and the educational system around us is designed to take money from students and toss them into lifelong debt for a career that might not even pay off their school debt.

Watch this and think a little:

PS I have no student loan debt but I hate the system either way.

Know.

I know a few things about life and I mean just a few things. The things I don’t know about the world outnumber the things I do know one-billion to one. I like being able to acknowledge that I only know a few things because that allows me to be open to learning many more as my cup has plenty of room to be filled. Every day we have the opportunity to learn new things from books, the internet, and other people. We should try to always be ready to learn a thing or two when the occasion arises in front of us.

I bring this up because today was one of those days where I asked a few questions then was able to listen. Listen to peoples passion about the products and services they provide to their customers. Listening to others share their passion behind the company they work for is exciting and motivating to me. Each person who I interacted with was excited about the products and services they sent out into the world because they made a difference in educational institutions for all students who were able to have classrooms that utilized their products.

I loved hearing that students grades were increasing by 10% and teachers were taking 8% less sick days because of these products. As an employee at this company, these people knew they were using their skills to invest in the education of others. I think that was what excited me the most was hearing the feedback that these employees felt that they were apart of something bigger than just another transaction for money. They were apart of the development of future scholars, policymakers, and leaders.

It’s always a happy experience for me to be asked to audit employees of companies and see where they fit on an employee happiness scale. As employees, we look to do a good job at a great company that has a great culture within. We are a vital part of maintaining this culture as leadership often introduces ideas that we might not understand at first we are responsible for ourselves and those we interact with learning the updates and helping others understand them. If we are willing to learn new things and continue being a strong asset to the company we are apart of.

Join a culture that learns.
Help that culture continue to grow.

See where that can go.

Best.

As often as we can my dog and I go out hiking in the mountains and hills near our house. As soon as I mention the phrase “Let’s hike” my dog immediately runs to the door and begins an impatient session of whining to go and running to me as I prepare to venture out. Once we get in the car she eagerly awaits our adventure with her paws on the center console and eyes peeled on the road. Once we arrive at our destination she begins a little dance to get out and begin smelling everything, running to and fro, and keeping her stoke high. June lives her best day ever each time we go out.

That’s one of the best things about having a dog is that every moment seems to be the happiest moment she has ever had. Whenever go out she lives those minutes with bliss as she experiences the world around her. I think we could all take a life lesson from dogs by living our best days every day and every opportunity to do something is an opportunity to smile and be fully invested in what we are doing.

Too many people drag themselves from one place to another and go through the expected motions we lack enthusiasm as we go along and often do not enjoy our lives. We need to enjoy our lives more, by finding a better life balance that allows us to do the things we want to more often. Whatever we enjoy doing we need to find time to do it. Allowing ourselves to become distracted with too many other things that a corporate society demands of us. We need to spend less time following the rules for life that others have created for us and more time creating the life we know we want to live and actually believe in living.

Be like a dog heading out to hike and live your best day ever every day.

Cooking.

Netflix has opened a world of easy access to cooking inspiration combined with the wanderlust we all crave. I recently started a new cooking series called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat where the very first episode you are welcomed into olive orchards, peoples farms and homes then walked through the process of constructing mouth-watering delights. Not only are you watching masters at work preparing food you are hearing the host speak Italian and traversing through cities with locals.

It’s a real inspiration to travel looking for more opportunities to explore local foods, cook local cuisine, and interact with the people in a more personal manner. Often we spend so much time speeding through checklists of famous landmarks that we hope to see that we fail to connect with the place and people we are surrounded by. From my own personal travel experiences, I can say that too often I fail to follow the footsteps on my travel heroes. I fail to take a moment to squeeze out the real local vibes and too much time squeezing out the travel checklist and Instagram worthy captures.

More of us could benefit from looking around the places we travel as if we were locals. Interacting more organically with others might allow us to make new friends and see more unique sights others may not see because they are following a well-paved path. I’ve learned that there are the little things you miss out on if you are going too many places too fast as you hurry from one destination to the next. I recommend when you visit a place that you find a place or two to converse with the locals, see where they go, see the places they think are beautiful, and where they eat most, then go and see those places.

Just like all the different travel/cooking films you can find on Netflix or other streaming services take your time and experience the moments, conversations, and sights one day at a time, with eyes looking to experience a place as a local might.  

Reconnect.

Spending time to catch up with old friends is a great experience to have. Especially if you and your friends want to spend time together but are often derailed from time together due to schedule differences. Reconnecting with friends is best done however you prefer spending time together playing games, eating dinner, or doing activities out on the town. Life is a series of moments that come at us fast. Spending time with friends is a good way to spend a few of those moments.

Tonight a group of my friends got together and we all reconnected after an extended time  of not seeing each other. It was an excellent time overall reconnecting hearing stories of other peoples lives and the new changes that have happened to each other through the months and years. We laughed and rekindled our friendship while enjoying a meal and a few hours of pop culture conversations. As we started to leave we all parted with happiness in our hearts and smiles on our faces not knowing when the next time we would all be together again.

Reconnecting with people from our past often can bring up warm memories of the years past. Often those memories connect with memories, these can be good and warm, memories of embarrassment, or bad memories we’d like to forget. Often we can forget the moments until we are back with the people we were with when those moments happened. Don’t be embarrassed or surprised if those memories rekindle feelings you’d thought you had long forgotten. Just take a few moments and remind yourself of the here and now and where you currently are.

When you can reconnect with a friend or two from the past who was a good influence on you, check in and see how they are, and how life is going for them. Try to do your best to be a listener interested in your friend’s life. It will be a refreshing experience you’ll be grateful to have.

Know.

I’ve been told many times that life is all about who you know more than what you know. Being able to use your connections to accomplish different tasks is key to finding success in much of life’s challenges. Think about all the people you know, they like you have different skills and interests that they utilize on a daily basis without much thought. Now think about yourself and inventory your assets or skills, you personally are probably skilled in 5 – 10 things well and those things might not always be the skills needed to accomplish the task.

Tonight truly reminded me why it’s so valuable to know and be friends with people with different skills than you. I have been building an e-commerce side hustle and I finally felt comfortable ordering some bulk product and seeing what I could do to move a larger volume of products. I needed some pictures taken that would encourage people to purchase these items and my iPhone photography skills wouldn’t do the job. I messaged one of my good friends and we set up a time to take quality photos to best move the product.

When I arrived I figured that we’d use my friend’s camera and just take some quality high-resolution pictures. He had lights’, a white backdrop, and the digital editing equipment and skills to make the pictures better than I had expected. I am truly grateful to know people who have skills that they can share to make my ambitions a reality without much work to them.

We can all think of times when our friend’s skill sets have helped us out when we needed a hand. We can also probably think of the times when we have done the same for others, showed up and helped out when needed with ease. We need to remember to integrate that into our natural motion every day, offering to lend a hand where we can and lift the world to a better place.

It’s all about who you know right?